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Ranking the 2015 Pac-12 defensive lines: Oregon has the best defensive line in the Pac-12

Ranking the 2015 Pac-12 defensive lines from top to bottom.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oregon - DE DeForest Buckner (Sr.) DT Alex Balducci (Sr.) DT T.J. Daniel (Jr.) DE Tui Talia (Sr.) DE Canton Kaumatule (Fr.)

The Ducks are known for their high-flying offense, but their defensive front is going to be a unit to watch 2015 even with Arik Armstead gone to the NFL early. Getting Buckner (who has first round talent) to come back for his senior year was huge as he will anchor the defense and dominate the edge. Balducci is an underrated run stuffer and Kaumatule is a five-star freshman that could make an impact right away.

2. UCLA - DT Kenny Clark (Jr.) DE Eddie Vanderdoes (Jr.) DE Takkarist McKinley (Jr.) DT Eli Ankou (Jr.)

Like most of the top groups in the Pac-12 this year, there are a couple of stars here, but not much depth. Clark is the conference's best defensive tackle in my opinion and Vanderdoes is a guy who will easily be a first-team All-Pac-12er as long as he keeps fulfilling just a little bit of his talent.

3. Utah - DE Hunter Dimick (Jr.) DT Lowell Lotulelei (So.) DE Jason Fanaika (Sr.) DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu (Jr.)

Watch out for this unit. Dimick quietly had 10 sacks in 2014 and Lotulelei looked like his older brother Star in his freshman season.

4. USC - DT Cody Temple (Sr.) DT Antwaun Woods (Sr.) DT Delvon Simmons (Sr.) DT Kenny Bigelow (So.) DE Claude Pelon (Sr.)

This group lacks stars with Leonard Williams off to the NFL, but is the deepest unit in the conference. The key here is Bigelow, who many think has Williams-level ability, can come back healthy and fulfill his potential.

5. Stanford - DE Nate Lohn (Sr.) DE Jordan Watkins (Sr.) DT Aziz Shittu (Sr.) DE Harrison Phillips (So.) DE Solmon Thomas (So.)

This unit lost every starter from 2014, but there is a ton of talent waiting in the wings for their time to shine. These projected starters for the Cardinal have played well backing up Stanford's previous stars, so they should be able to at least hold up fairly well as starters.

6. Washington State - DE Destiny Vaeao (Sr.) DE Darryl Paulo (Sr.) DT Robert Barber (Jr.) DT Daniel Ekuale (So.) DE Jeremiah Mitchell (Jr.)

The Cougars have actually been stronger on the defensive line recently than their statistics might suggest, but they took a huge blow when Xavier Cooper surprisingly left early for the NFL. This group is full of bigger guys who can play all along the line with good experience.

7. Arizona State - DT Mo Latu (Sr.) DT Tashon Smallwood (So.) DE Demetrius Cherry (Sr.) DE Edmond Boateng (Jr.)

This group has a lot of unknowns but Latu is a mountain at nearly 400 pounds and Smallwood played well starting as a freshman and should develop into a very good player.

8. Oregon State - DE Jashwa James (Sr.) DT Jalen Grimble (Sr.) DE Lavonte Barnett (Sr.) DE Luke Hollingsworth (Jr.)

All these players saw some time for a struggling Beaver defense last season and had their moments, but there isn't anything to get too excited about here. Barnett is probably the best of the group and had 4.5 sacks in 2014.

9. Washington - DT Elijah Qualls (So.) DT Vita Vea (Fr.) DE Joe Mathis (Jr.) DE Will Dissly (So.)

The Huskies lost every starter off of a stellar 2014 unit and now must completely rebuild. The guys who are sliding in have shown flashes as reserves but will have to prove themselves on the field.

10. Arizona - DE Reggie Gilbert (Sr.) DE Parker Zellers (So.) DE Jeff Worthy (Sr.) DT Sani Fuimaono (Jr.) DE Calvin Allen (So.)

The Wildcats haven't been strong up front in a long time and they lost their best players from a decent group last year. Getting Gilbert back for another year though was a big score.

11. Colorado - DE Jimmie Gilbert (Jr.) DE Derek McCartney (So.) DT Justin Solis (Sr.)

This group got decimated when defensive tackle Josh Tupou got dismissed.

12. Cal - DT Mustafa Jalil (Sr.) DT Tony Mekari (So.) DE Todd Barr (Sr.) DT Trevor Kelly (Sr.)

This group has some talent, but just hasn't performed or been able to stay healthy the past couple of years.